Image Tips

Dressing for Semi-Formal Events

Cocktail Dress


I’ve been invited to an event and the invitation says it is semi-formal. What does this mean? Do I wear a knee length or long dress? Thanks for your help.

Deb, Cardiff


Semi-formal invitations are the most tricky to decipher. Usually they imply that long dresses are not required, nor are tuxes. An evening wedding (after 6 PM) would still dictate a cocktail dress for her and a dark suit for him. Daytime semi-formal events mean a suit for him and an appropriate short dress or dressy suit for her.

If the invitation states Formal attire or Black Tie, you can wear a long dress, or a dressy evening gown. In trendier areas like LA, men could also wear a tux with a black shirt with no tie.

Black Tie Optional means you have the option of wearing a tuxedo or long gown. It can also tip you into the formality of the event, meaning a dark suit and tie would be your other option.

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The Man Who Learned to Walk in Shoes that Pinch


This is a fable written by a friend that reminds us that we are not always the size we think we are. As a stylist, I caution every client not to get hung up on (more…)

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Advice for Warm Skin Tones

Hi Kathi,

I came in contact with this page:

Would you be kind enough to tell me what skin tone I am (more…)

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Choosing the Perfect Clothes For Your Job Interview ~ A guide to savvy style for men

Suit for Interview

With the economy still struggling to get back to normal, many people are redefining their careers. Many because they have been let go by their employers and don’t have a choice, but many others because the time simply feels right to make a change.

As a professional change agent, I feel that this is the perfect time to make significant changes in your life. When there is chaos and disorder, change (more…)

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Savvy Interview Style for Women

Woman in Suit

With the wide variety of clothing choices for women, it is often difficult to determine what to wear during the job interview process.  I always advise clients to research the company they are interviewing with to determine (more…)

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California Casual Business Attire is Still Professional

Office Appropriate Look

Hi Kathi,

I do not wear any makeup and have long hair. Is there a minimum amount of makeup that is considered appropriate (i.e. lipstick, mascara, etc)?

I have also noticed professional women tend to have short hair.  My hair is always clean and tidy, but I’m not sure (more…)

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Clothing Sizes and Fit ~ why it is difficult to find the right size


Finding the right size clothes is often a very mysterious and painstaking process. Today, a woman who always used to fit into size 8 clothing will probably find clothes that fit and are labeled from sizes 6-10.

My clients often ask – how does this happen? Well, chaos (more…)

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A Guide to Measuring Your Bra Size

Bra Fitting

Things to know when having a bra fitting:

-The numeric part of your bra size is the band and the alphabetical part of your bra size is the cup.

-You don’t have to strip down to your bare breasts. If you are shy or uncomfortable, a fitting can be (more…)

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Tips for African Women with Warm Skin Tones

Dear Kathi,
I am African with a warm skin tone (green veins). I am going on vacation in March to Jamaica with my husband of 14 years.  This is our first real vacation together alone and want to look and feel my best.  What can I do to make this the best trip ever? I want to look irresistibly hot and sexy for him and all other guys since they typically gauge how sexy you are after themselves by other men’s oogling. HELP?


HI Christine,
Thanks for contacting me! I need more info to help you. How would you describe your body shape? What age, weight and height?
Best Regards,

Well, thanks for responding so promptly by the way as my vacation begins next week.  I am Black fairly thin.  I am 5’9 and weigh about 140 lbs which drops often throughout the year so that is not completely accurate.  I have a 36D breast size which I hate because people don’t realize that I have curvaceous qualities until they see me in fitted clothing which is rare.  I am hippy also.  But I have very skinny arms and legs.  My stomach is kind of a pouch due to my two kids.  It just doesn’t seem to go away no matter how much I fast, don’t eat, exercise, nothing works for this pouch.  To be more precise here is a pic of me but I have skinny legs!  As you can see I am pretty busty but my arms and legs are thin.  This is a pic of me on a family vacation last summer.  Did I mention I am 37 years old.  I really want to impress my husband as he is my best friend, and artist and one that made me confident and proud of myself no matter how I look.  I owe him tremendously.  Thanks so much for your help. Make me a superstar!


Great photo– you look beautiful. I would start by getting professionally fitted for a new bra, you could be possibly a 36E, by the looks of it. Most women wear the wrong size bra for years. It will make a world of difference and the betties will be hoisted to a mid point between your shoulder and elbows.  You should be able to get this from a “major” department store….the higher end the better…Nordstrom’s is the BEST.   You will need a supply of Microfiber panties so panty lines will not show under your light colored clothing.

Consider changing your base hair color to something less blue/black to more of a warm gold/chocolate…dark but warm.  Your facial lines tells me that you cold wear your hair up and back the whole time which would be easy and elegant however that would depend on whether your husband prefers long locks.  A nice sun hat…you might want to pick that up day one in the island if you like to wear them.  Even though big sunglasses are in you’re face is narrow so I’d downsize 20% there…the warm tones you chose of tortoise shell and gold are great!

To be sexy in the islands feel free to show off your décolletage (chest, collar bones), arms and legs which means you’re sleeveless most of the time but make sure you pick up one or two pashminas (wraps) in vibrant colors for evening coolness.  Try corals, pumpkins and saffron.  Choose one basic color palette for your wardrobe to make packing easy….white or cream would be an excellent base color…then pop Caribbean colors with wraps, shoes, earrings, bracelets .  Make sure to pack a sexy black/brown/navy dress for a special night out….empire waist, V-neck, sleeveless, show some leg, and a skinny strappy heel.

I would recommend mostly skirts and dresses rather than shorts or slacks….keep feminine and flowy.  ‘Flowy’ only works if part of the outfit is fitted, ie ‘flowy’ top skinny skirt or flowy skirt fitted top.  If you’re concerned about a fitted top over you belly go for the ruching or slight flare over the bottom half of the blouse. If you’re swimming or sunning you will go thru two or three swim suits.

Flat sexy sandals will take you thru the day and into the night….especially if they are metallic.

Have fun and send me a photo of your new sexy look when you return!


You are a tremendous help.  Your advice is overwhelmingly on point and amazing.  I have numbered all the steps needed for my transformation.  I can’t wait to see the outcome. I will most definitely send you a picture of the outcome and of course you may use my photo and advice for your site. You have been such a huge help.  I can’t thank you enough.  If that is all you are asking for, feel free.  I have so much to do before next Monday.  I have to make some returns of some of my purchases prior to this message. I made some boo, boos.  Thanks again Kathy!



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A Guide to Men’s Wedding Guest Attire

Wedding Suit

There are some rules of thumb for men to consider when deciding what to wear to a wedding. Appropriate dress will vary depending on where the wedding is held, what time of day it occurs, and whether or not the couple decides on a formal or informal reception.

For a morning or informal daytime wedding, (more…)

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